Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel

hee-t rash


A skin rash caused by excessive sweating during vigorous cycling

Example usage: I had to take a break from my ride because I developed a nasty heat rash.

Most used in: Hot and humid climates.

Most used by: Road cyclists and mountain bikers who ride in hot and humid climates.

Popularity: 6/10

Comedy Value: 2/10

Also see: Chafing, Saddle Sore, Bicycling Boil, Bicycle Butt,


What Is Heat Rash?

Heat rash is a skin condition that can affect cyclists who are riding in hot and humid conditions. It is caused by sweat trapped in the skin, which causes inflammation and irritation in the affected area. Heat rash usually appears as small red bumps or blisters on the skin, and can be itchy and uncomfortable.

Heat rash is most common in the summer months when temperatures are highest, but can also occur during other times of the year. It is estimated that up to 20% of cyclists may suffer from heat rash at some point, especially those who are prone to sweating heavily when riding.

The best way to prevent heat rash is to keep the skin cool and dry when cycling. This means wearing loose-fitting clothing that allows the skin to breathe, and avoiding heavy fabrics that will trap sweat and moisture. Taking regular breaks to cool down will also help, as will drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

If you do develop heat rash, the best course of action is to get out of the heat and allow the skin to cool down. Applying a soothing cream or aloe vera gel to the affected area can also help to reduce the irritation and discomfort.


The Origin of the Term 'Heat Rash' in Cycling

The term 'heat rash' was first used in cycling in the late 1800s. It was used to describe the skin irritation caused by wearing tight-fitting cycling clothing in hot, humid climates. The term was most commonly used in the United States, particularly in the southern states.

Heat rash is caused by sweat glands becoming blocked due to the tight clothing. This causes the sweat to be trapped in the skin, leading to red bumps and irritation. The condition is also known as miliaria rubra, prickly heat, or sweat rash.

Heat rash can be prevented by wearing loose-fitting clothing while cycling in hot, humid climates. Applying a cooling gel or lotion to the skin can also help to reduce irritation.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3